About the importance of IT Security and the risks of Cloud vs On-premises Servers

Proper IT security is vital in this day and age – whether you go cloud or in-house, there are risks to weigh up.

I’ll break it down in more detail so you can make the most informed choice. There’s a lot at stake if you cut corners here!

First, cloud services.

The main appeal is outsourcing infrastructure management, including security, to a third party rather than handling in-house. But don’t assume the cloud is automatically safer! Breaches can still happen, including:

  • Data theft if accounts are compromised due to poor access controls or phishing.
  • Malware or ransomware attacks that spread quickly in shared cloud environments.
  • Loss of data if encryption keys are not properly secured.
  • Outages from server failures or denial of service attacks on providers.

You’re also reliant on providers’ security practices holding up. Vet these carefully! Therefore, choose reputable providers or you will be in trouble.

With on-premises servers, you retain more control which brings more responsibility around:

  • Server security patching and upgrades.
  • Malware protection and activity monitoring.
  • Perimeter security like firewalls and intrusion detection.
  • Managing user access permissions and credentials properly.
  • Physical security controls in server rooms.
  • Secure offsite backups in case of hardware failures or disasters.
  • Encrypting data end-to-end.

Risks are unauthorized access, data theft, outages, and plain human error. A sound security policy and controls are essential.

Please, consider, if you go the on-premise server route, having an in-house IT systems engineer employed full-time is highly advisable to manage and secure your infrastructure.

Some key reasons why having an internal engineer is recommended:

  • They can handle day-to-day management like security patching, upgrades, monitoring, backups etc. Rather than relying fully on outside vendors.
  • An in-house expert knows your systems intimately and can optimise them for your specific needs.
  • Quicker response time for issues that arise compared to contracted help.
  • Ongoing costs may be lower than paying vendors for piecemeal work.
  • Enables you to establish clear internal security policies and procedures.
  • Direct control over infrastructure changes rather than going through vendors.
  • Accountability for systems resides with your employee rather than outside parties.

There are some expenses like salary, training, and benefits to consider. But an in-house expert focused on your security and infrastructure may be worth the investment compared to fully outsourcing. Just make sure you get someone technically competent! A proactive systems engineer enhances security and performance considerably.

My advice – engage qualified security professionals whichever route you go. Doing this in-house half-cocked is asking for trouble. Proper IT security will pay dividends down the road.

Let me know if you need advice on reputable providers or consultants. There are right and wrong ways to approach this – make sure your business is covered!

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Bob Mazzei
Bob Mazzei

AI Consultant, IT Engineer

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